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The Broken Window (Lincoln Rhyme) Hardcover – June 10, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Deaver's entertaining eighth Lincoln Rhyme novel (after The Cold Moon), Rhyme, a forensic consultant for the NYPD, and his detective partner, Amelia Sachs, take on a psychotic mastermind who uses data mining—the business of the twenty-first century—not only to select and hunt down his victims but also to frame the crimes on complete innocents. Rhyme is reluctantly drawn into a case involving his estranged cousin, Arthur, who's been charged with first-degree murder. But when Rhyme and his crew look into the strange set of circumstances surrounding his cousin's alleged crime, they discover tangential connections to a company that specializes in collecting and analyzing consumer data. Further investigation leads them to some startlingly Orwellian revelations: Big Brother is watching your every move and could be a homicidal maniac. The topical subject matter makes the story line particularly compelling, while longtime fans will relish Deaver's intimate exploration of a tragedy from Rhyme's adolescence. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
As the Lincoln Rhyme series rolls along, the quadriplegic criminalist’s cases keep getting more and more elaborate. The Cold Moon (2006) was extremely intricate, but this one tops it. Lincoln’s cousin has been arrested for murder. The case seems airtight, but when he looks into it, Rhyme begins to suspect that he has stumbled onto an especially devious serial killer, one who uses cutting-edge data-mining techniques to steal the identities of his victims and of the innocent people he frames for his crimes. Rhyme is perhaps the best and smartest investigator in the game, but how do you catch a killer when you don’t know anything about him? If a large part of writing a mystery is like making a puzzle, then Deaver may just be the cleverest puzzle maker in the business. He has built his reputation on the strength of well-drawn characters; hyperrealistic dialogue (you don’t read it, you hear it); and right-angle plot twists that are impossible to predict. There is no one quite like Deaver—or like Lincoln Rhyme. --David Pitt
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I just hope that Deaver never decides to put that devious mind to use doing the real crimes, rather than just writing about them! His plots are invariably so twisted and intricate that he could no doubt easily get away with whatever he chose to do; I am always amazed at his depth of knowledge of forensics, and - scary thought! - the criminal mind!
The only thing that I find really irritating in the Rhyme books is his constant detailing the crime "board", where all the information concerning the crime, perpetrator(s), victim(s), etc. are endlessly updated for the reader. I frankly find it just a bit insulting, and definitely boring; I have finally reached the point where I generally skip over the later ones. Does he think we are too simple to remember? I'm 75, and have no problem remembering the progress of the evidence gathered. However, that is a relatively minor issue, especially when the excellent writing of the story is considered. Highly recommended!
But it is with this specific topic that I also got a jolt, a wake up call. Data mining, a subject I never thought much about, is shockingly real and pervasive. I don't want to know what I now know, as I don't have any idea how to protect my own details from public, computer driven exposure.
In an ironic sense, this story is about a hero and his gang of friends who try to outwit the forces of technology as used for gain or evil; they must use technology to win as well, with the added benefit of good luck, human endurance, loyalty and intuition. Such a good book, well done.